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Talkback: Hibernating insects

am i being a little dense but i am trying to find reader chat sits where you can put any queries for help and advice


  • And I thought you were a nice person! No not really Pippa. It's great to hear that your lovely new windows are attracting such diverse wildlife. I had PVC windows fitted a couple of years ago & although they are easy to maintain. I can't think of many other advantages over wood. They feel cold, where as wood gives a cosy feeling to a room. The hibernating critters seem to agree.
  • Red Admiral butterflys always hibernated in my small bedroom until I had it made into a bathroom and the air brick was changed for an electric extractor, I have purchased some butterfly plants to encourage them to the garden once again as I don't see them as often as I'd like to.
  • I have to say that it's mice we have to deal with rather than insects! We've had a few of them over the winter.
  • If ladybirds like their hibernation site they (or their offspring) tend to go back to the same place year after year, which is fascinating! So the same might happen next year. I once worked in an office in a very old house and every winter, if you opened the windows (often to let hibernating queen wasps out too),I was showered with hibernating ladybirds. Many were sosqueezed into the frames it was difficult to close the window without squashing them. Try making a ladybird hotel up in the window, away from sunlight. Upside down paper cup stuffed with shreddings (a bit like a dahlia earwig trap outside) often works, but they may not move in now, might work next autumn. Are they harlequins or "ordinary". Might be worth checking the ladybird website!
  • iryP : I'm afraid there are agood few harlequins but some ordinary types too, in fact there's a picture of them on my website complete with window frame and hinge !!

    ce : Yes, I've got a rodent problem too, but not in the window frames, luckily!!
  • Hi Pippa - I'm being a bit cheeky but my question/comment is about hibernating insects - honest. Well partly then and you are our friendly neighbourhood pest control officer.

    I am an ardent lover of sprouting broccoli and curly kale having grown them for many years. I live on the north Wales coast and up until a few years ago, had little problem with grey aphids attacking them. It has now reached the stage where they have infested the underside of the tightly curled kale leaves and similarly gone right into the broccoli florets to render them both inedible. There seems little point in trying to spray against them as the little critters are too well protected by the plants and they refuse to budge when washed under a fast flowing tap or submerged in salt water. Last year I grew some so-called dwarf kale [3'+ high] under anti-insect mesh but a combination of wind and the unexpected plant height lifted the mesh and probably let them in so they could multiply and, of course, happily hibernate. The cold weather didn't deter them either.
    Regards KE
  • I have ladybirds hibernating on a window frame in our sitting room but I need to move them to repaint the room. Can I move them to the attic?
  • On one of my climbing plants I have a insect with a leaf wrapped around itself, I'm sure it's an insect? the leaf looks dark brown and looks like a dead mouse hanging upside down! What is it?
  • Hi
    Sounds like the mealy cabbage aphid, snd it is best avoided using fine mesh or fleece that can be reliably held down, no gaps.....difficult I know !
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